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Inside a designer’s studio: A visit with Alyson Clair


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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I recently paid a visit to the studio of Alyson Clair, designer of Clair Vintage Inspired. Alyson specializes in adorable knit dresses, designed and produced here in Portland.



It’s fascinating to me to see the process of a production designer, and how their challenges are both the same and different from my own.

Small designers like Alyson have to consider a lot of things that I don’t worry about (fabric procurement, different costing issues, finding production resources in a small city like Portland). On the other hand, there is a lot of overlap too. For example, I think my design and pattern development process is probably not all that different from most designers or production patternmakers.

Alyson showed me around her studio, which she shares with two other designers. You can definitely see that this is a place where a lot of work gets done. Lovely dresses line the walls, along with rolls and rolls of fabric and several industrial machines (though the production sewing is done elsewhere).















It’s always fascinating to peek into someone else’s workspace, isn’t it?

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 15


yeeha! more posts like this please!!



Thanks for sharing this. I always like peeking behind the curtain of small designers. It’s cool to see how they work, and to see the ways in which they are similar to what we home sewer do…and the ways that they are completely different!


the giant googly eyes….! i love seeing how people mix their personality in with their workspaces

Diane @ Vintage Zest

Ha! That creeper by the butcher paper would totally freak me out every day. :)

Alyson Clair

Well I did be-dazzle some gem eyes on him, and he scares the crap out of one my studio-mates. Hence why he has been banished to behind the cut table. (It’s Derek Zoolander)


I’m a shameless looky-lo and love posts like these! I love the giant gooley eyes – LOL! Thanks for sharing, Sarai :)

Diane Hudson

Love having a sneaky peek into other people’s lives! Thank you!


One can feel the creative energy in that space, even from the pictures!


Do I sense a collaboration coming soon??? :)


Yes, I do enjoy seeing where other people work. I find it fascinating the things they have around them that inspires them and contributes to their success.


Fun! I love getting to peek in people’s spaces. I also really like her logo, very clever.


Love it! Peeking around to see what fun items she uses and pretty fabrics! Trying to read the names of her books. We love books at our house. Noticed a really dog-eared book and wondered what’s the title? :) My favorite – I noticed the dressform that is shaped like me! (I’m not the typical shape.) I’ve never seen one like that. So cool!


Ooh – I’d love to hang out in her studio. Especially if she always has those googly eyes.


Wow, amazing studio – in love with some of those fabrics. And anyone with a pic of such an adorable cat is cool with me! *LOL*


É fascinante mesmo,que bom ver que eu não sou a unica bagunceira!

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